JEREMIAH 32 RANKS AMONG the most affecting passages in all of Scripture. The gravity of the circumstances contributes to it. The curse of Deuteronomy 28:63 is about to be invoked, leading to Israel’s exile in Babylon. Yet in response to Jeremiah’s prayer, confessing Israel’s guilt, the Lord asks a rhetorical question that offers a glimpse of hope against the backdrop of present darkness, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”(Jer. 32:27). A catalogue of His people’s acts of depravity follows, suggesting why it might be. The offence against His holiness is rank (Lev. 18:21; 20:2–5). He concludes the litany of reproach with these startling words: They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction. They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Moloch, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jer. 32: 33–35) The pattern of a degenerating culture that the Apostle Paul describes, which begins when it exchanges the truth about God for a lie, then substitutes idolatry for faithful worship, and culminates in replacing marital fidelity with all manner of sexual licentiousness (Rom. 1:21–27), has reached its horrible conclusion in Jeremiah’s prophesy. The standard reading of Romans 1:21–17 is that unrestrained sexual transgression marks the depth of cultural depravity. It is undeniably one aspect of it. The ‘high places’ of Jeremiah 32 were directly related to the worship of Baal and his wife Asherah through the cultic prostitution of men and women. Yet Asherah was also the female consort of Moloch. And it is in her alliance with him that we see the final element of the cultural decline that illuminates Paul’s text. Sexual licentiousness coalesces with something the Lord describes as so shocking that it had not “entered His mind…to cause Judah to sin” – the practice of sacrificing their own children. They become “inventors of evil.” Turning one’s back on the Lord of life ultimately entails embracing the culture of death, and the fire of Hell.1 Moloch worship was deemed unimaginable for a reason. A dreadful sight, the brass statue of the god was cast in human shape with a bull’s head, and outstretched hands. A fire was kindled within his belly, and stoked to a terrific heat. To appease him, parents were required to offer up their babies to the scalding embrace, and gaze upon the horror that ensued without tears or sign of protest. Parental approval was required for a sacrifice to be acceptable. It alone would convince the angry demon god that sacrificing their baby was of their own volition. Ever accommodating, Moloch’s votaries would play their drums and flutes loudly to drown out the tortured cries. 2 What transpired in the valley of Hinnom was not simply a moment of utmost darkness in Israel’s ancient history. It was an earthly type of an eternal danger. Jesus regularly warned that mankind tended towards Moloch worship when it did not worship Him. He used the word Gehenna (Hell)3 eleven times in the synoptic Gospels to describe the pattern of life opposite to that of His Kingdom. He clarified what was implicit in the judgment of Israel in Jeremiah 32: the acts associated with that place had an eternal spiritual significance. The “valley of Hinnom,” in Jesus’ teaching, was a place where body and soul can be destroyed (Matt. 10:28) in “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43). The connection of Hell with the practice of rampant sexual license and willful sacrifice of infants cannot be ignored. It represents a spiritual depravity of the first order. Russell Moore puts it bluntly when he states that “A culture of death that denies personhood to the unborn is a culture that is assaulting the very image of Christ himself.”4 Moloch worship is of course only the most lurid of the atrocities of the ancient world towards the very young. Its only comparison may be the two instances in Scripture where a god-king sought to enact a wholescale massacre of the innocents, in the first instance for the purposes of ‘population control,’ in the latter, to prevent the emergence of a rival king. In both instances, the Lord appeared as Saviour. Yet aside from the gruesome rites, the Moloch cult’s practice of infanticide was common. Throughout the ancient world, where fertility rites and cultic prostitution were rampant, unwanted children were also regularly left exposed to the elements. In ancient Rome, for example, a father had absolute and despotic power over his family, including the power of life and death over his wife, concubines, children and slaves. They were from a legal perspective his property.5 What happened to them was the father’s ‘choice’ alone, and the state supported him in that. MOLOCH WORSHIP REMIXED Yet for all its savagery, while the ancient world might have permitted fathers to dispose of their unwanted children, even it would never have classified abortion as a ‘human right’, i.e. as in some sense the fulfillment of the law, or a human good. By identifying abortion as a human right, and thus an absolute, one of the more pernicious aspects of the contemporary practice of abortion in the West has developed: abortion has been identified as a matter of women’s health and personal well-being. In the United States, the publications of the National Organization for Women (NOW) repeatedly refer to abortion as “the most fundamental right of women”, ahead of the right to vote and the right to free speech. The protection of abortion rights is its top priority.6 First, let me speak to the two issues related to women. ABORTION AS A DEFENSE OF WOMEN’S HEALTH The common appeal to abortion as fundamentally a matter of ‘women’s health’ is strange, if not altogether perverse. It does not matter whether health is understood physically, mentally or spiritually. While pregnancy does affect a women’s physical health, it cannot reasonably be categorized as if it were a form of illness to be cured by excision. The obvious ‘cure’ for pregnancy is a nine-month period of gestation that concludes in the birth of a child. It is a means of propagating the human race, and more specifically, the woman’s kind. It thus obeys the first command given in Scripture: “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28; 9:1). Associating abortion with ‘women’s health’ cannot possibly refer to her physical health. It must refer to some sense of mental or spiritual well-being then. The facts speak incontrovertibly against its contribution to women’s mental health. Dr. Priscilla Coleman recently published an article in the British Journal of Psychiatry surveying decades of studies, concluding that “Women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be attributable to abortion. The strongest subgroup estimates of increased risk occurred when abortion was compared with term pregnancy and when the outcomes pertained to substance use and suicidal behaviour.”7 This leaves us with ‘spiritual health’. If that is what is meant, it can only be a euphemism for child-slaying as a means of women’s salvation, something akin to Moloch worship.8 It represents a direct antithesis to the Biblical text which speaks of a woman’s salvation through child-bearing (1 Tim. 2:15).9 Since the entire purpose of health care is the preservation and furtherance of life in all its respects, the medical establishment ought to be seeking to abolish abortion rather than making an industry out of it. 10 At present, it breaks the sixth commandment in the name of fulfilling it, by appealing to ‘choice.’ ABORTION AS A DEFENSE OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS The appeal to the act of abortion as a centerpiece of ‘women’s rights’ is similarly non-sensical. Abortion cannot possibly be considered intrinsic to human nature or human flourishing. On the contrary, it strikes at the right to life, the basic human right. 11 Killing abrogates all subsequent notions of justice and human rights. This ‘woman’s right’ is by its nature opposed to human rights. It is not even intrinsic to being a woman, for it only appears at the moment when a child has been deprived of its life and rights. And many women would refuse to do so precisely for that reason. What sort of claim is it then? The true nature of the claim that some people make can be seen in the argument typically used to attack a prolife position: denying abortion forces women to have ‘unwanted children.’ ‘Every child a wanted child’ is a slogan for the pro-choice movement. Making a mother’s desire the measure of a child’s worth renders it a commodity. The woman’s right to choose appears after the unborn child has been depersonalized and reconfigured as an item of property. It bears an uncanny similarity to the view of the ‘rights’ of the father in pagan Rome to dispense with his property as he saw fit. In both instances, the personhood of the child is denied, and the ‘right’ is exercised in the taking of another’s life, which is in clear contravention of the understandings of human rights established by Christians in the West, largely to the advantage of women and children. But the comparison between the choice of the Roman father and mothers today only goes so far, precisely because of the advent of Christendom. Whereas the ancient world possessed no such notion as ‘human rights,’ it is the backdrop for the contemporary practice of abortion. There are only two ways in which the ‘right to choose’ to abort a child can be considered a matter of women’s rights: i) Women’s rights can be asserted if human rights are altogether suspended; or ii) they can be asserted if they lie outside the established understanding of human rights. Both, I submit, have effectively happened. To allow for life, the most basic human right, to be taken by virtue of an appeal to a different set of rights is to assert the absolute priority of the latter over human rights. We are currently experiencing the consequence of allowing the state to define life in countless areas as a result. The process will not stop until all human rights have been abrogated. And this has not even resulted in the empowerment of women. Women have attained this absolute exemption to dispose of their ‘property,’ yet only under the condition that they too be similarly depersonalized, and (legally speaking) excluded from the human race.12 It is striking that the language defending a ‘woman‘s choice‘ has nothing to do with her rights as a person. Proponents of women’s rights defend ‘what she can do with her body,’ which is not the same as her person. Human personhood is a predicate of divine personhood. Detaching a woman’s body from her person has rendered it into a natural commodity that she possesses. Hence under Roe v. Wade, the ground for the legal change was construed to be the right to ‘privacy’ against any societal claims of jurisdiction.13 The full significance of this perverse understanding of women’s rights, which has been established by making them property owners of themselves and their unborn children, will become clearer when I discuss the terrible dehumanizing effect that the ‘pro-choice’ position has had on women, children and fathers. 14 It is in large part a function of the sexual revolution. The sexual revolution has led the Western world to regard women essentially as natural sex-objects rather than as persons whose sexual being is fulfilled in a monogamous, complementary relationship to their gender-opposite, in a covenant relationship of duties and responsibilities, which include those towards the unborn child.15 EVANGELICAL APATHY TO THE RETURN OF MOLOCH WORSHIP Despite the horror of abortion, its cost of millions of lives, and the anguish within those of countless others, it is still common to read among some of the most respected evangelicals of our day that culture is a matter of secondary concern to Christians, if not a matter of indifference. The Christian faith is solely a matter of ‘winning souls.’ The more extreme of the views parrot the moral relativism of their secular contemporaries in agreeing that Christians should not seek to ‘impose their values on others’ by a public outworking of their faith, even though the Great Commission demands precisely a form of that – through discipling the nations, which always has moral, legal and political dimensions.16 The earliest Christian confession was not that Jesus is Saviour. It was that Jesus is Lord. Christ cannot be king without a kingdom. Nowhere is the moral bankruptcy of the Christian retreat from cultural engagement more evident than in the refusal of many Christians to actively oppose the slaughter of the innocents of our day, or to seek to overturn what Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI rightly called our present age’s ‘culture of death.’ The complicity of Christians in the sexual revolution against its Biblical understanding is doubtless one of the main reasons. Having salved their consciences that compromises can be made in the area of sexual morality, it is easier to lose sight of the gravity of moral stipulations regarding life itself. Post-Christendom in fact most closely resembles the return to a civilization that is alien, indeed absolutely antithetical, to that of the Lord of life. The abortion of the unborn is the flip-side to the sexual revolution. It is, as Douglas Wilson puts it, “Moloch worship redevivus.” Abortion is part of an ongoing redefinition of what it means to be human, which is also marked by the orientation of sex towards gender, i.e. to nothing but a figment of our imaginations. Wilson wryly notes of the change, “Mothers cultivate childlessness, wives are male, and husbands are female. Other than that, everything is the same as it was.”17 In the Christian community, to whom this article is directed, many would doubtless dispute the analogy between the practice of therapeutic abortion on demand and the return to a species of Moloch worship. They might observe that there is no sense of the worship of Moloch (or any other god) in the contemporary practice of abortion. There is no cult, no ritual prostitution, no religion. All this is true. But the justification of murder of one’s progeny on the sole basis that it sanctions ‘choice’ is the essence of Moloch worship. The only difference is that rather than a ‘god’ being propitiated by an expression of free will, we are. But both practices plainly share something. They are captive to an idol, and in both cases, they exemplify the truth of Scripture, which declares that “all those who hate me love death.” (Prov. 8:36) Perhaps a look at the specifics of the case at hand might be in order. THE REVEALING REFERENCE TO ABORTION AS ‘CHOICE’ The uncompromising devotion to the abortionist cause marks out those that support it as a sort of cult. But what sort might that be? G.K. Beale, in his book We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry, suggests, based on Isaiah 6, that whatever people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or for restoration.18 In the case of Moloch worship, the civilizations that worshipped that fearsome idol were horrifically savage, and they gave their progeny over to death. It is entirely correct to say that there is nothing resembling brass idols in our midst. But there is more to it than that. What people revere is whatever they hold to be ultimate reality, whether it is the triune personal God of Scripture, or something else. What is the ultimate reality in Canada? I would say that it is the triune God, but that is not the dominant perspective. The dominant perspective in Canada and throughout the Western world is that which is afforded by modern science, which methodologically excludes revelation, however much explanatory power it has. It offers a cosmological explanation of a materialist nature. The prevailing cosmological view of our day, the explanation for the very existence of life and the universe is called the ‘big bang theory,’ whereby everything spontaneously emerged from a hydrogen explosion. It further resulted in the enormous complexity and diversity, and the interrelatedness of everything that exists. Now if we were to describe the assumptions that had been made in this theory, we would be compelled to admit that it presumes that something can spontaneously come from nothing, and that anything can basically become anything else. It doesn’t matter if we want to add the biological theory of evolution to it, because the idea is basically the same, which is why the theories happily co-exist. THE WILL OF THE GOD; THE GOD OF THE WILL What we are really providing an intellectual template for is the absolute freedom of the will to declare that anything can become anything else. The consequence of this in the sexual realm is what we might call ‘pomosexuality’ – postmodern sexuality. It’s like magic. The mirage of ‘gay marriage’ is a cardinal illustration of worshipping ‘choice.’ The autonomy of the choice is revealed in declaring that something that hadn’t existed now does; the ‘worship’ is clear in the demand that it be publicly celebrated and legally recognized. On the other hand, reducing the institution of marriage to a verbal definition, and then excluding the procreation of children from that definition, is a reduction of a something to a nothing. Passing legislation thereafter to include variations on the ‘definition’ to make it more inclusive (as with same-sex marriage) can make them ‘official,’ but no more real or socially effective. Without children, they cannot perpetuate themselves. We can similarly talk as if ‘gender’ exists in contradistinction to biological sex, and can manufacture new genders to identify new trains of thought, but they are no more than willful expressions, which officialdom can only will that the general populace will, because they will it to be so. And the legal and educational system will duly oblige, because the one thing that both have demonstrated in recent years they believe in common is the absolute freedom of the will.19 Arbitrarily determining human life to begin at some point other than conception does precisely the same. In short, the ultimate reality of our day is a very comfortable and infinitely plastic form of nihilism, the reduction of everything, however well-established, to be a matter of simple redefinition, even if it thereby refers to nothing but our will. Our society worships death because it reveals its choice to be its own god. David B. Hart explained our society’s chief moral value as the absolute freedom of choice, with this analysis: …a society that believes this must, at least implicitly, embrace and subtly advocate a very particular moral metaphysics: the unreality of any “value” higher than choice, or of any transcendent Good ordering desire towards a higher end. Desire is free to propose, seize, accept or reject, want or not want — but not to obey. Society must thus be secured against the intrusions of the Good, or of God, so that its citizens may determine their own lives by the choices they make from a universe of morally indifferent but variably desirable ends, unencumbered by any prior grammar of obligation or value.… Hence the liberties that permit one to…destroy one’s unborn child are all equally intrinsically “good” because all are expressions of an inalienable freedom of choice. But, of course, if the will determines itself only in and through such choices, free from any prevenient natural order, then it too is in itself nothing.20 It is in the very terms of the woman’s ‘right to choose’ that we find the appeal to a God-concept. As with Moloch worship, the voluntary nature of the sacrifice is all-important. The hospitals and abortion clinics and the limitations upon public protest provide a cost-free and civilized variation on the drum beats to shield mothers from comprehending the consequences of their actions. HOSTILE WITNESSES IN THE CULTURE WARS This has thusfar been a pro-life portrait of the issue. Let us also consider the cultural analysis of someone who would support the pro-choice position. Michael Valpy, former Religious Affairs columnist for the Toronto Globe & Mail newspaper, is a respected analyst of the religious and ethical issues of our day. I will take his commentary on the legacy of Henry Morgentaler, Canada’s most famous abortionist, to illustrate the broad cultural significance he sees in the prochoice movement in Canada. Let me begin with a bit of context. On Dominion Day, July 1, 2008, Morgentaler was vested as a Member in the Order of Canada. The insignia pinned to his chest by former Governor General Michaelle Jean bore the Latin motto desiderantes meliorem patriam, “they desire a better country.” It is from Hebrews 11:16, the motto of those who live by faith in Jesus Christ. For Morgentaler, receiving the award marked an extraordinary reversal of fortunes. When the Order was established by Queen Elizabeth II back in 1967, abortion was strictly illegal, and the Christian motto doubtless seemed appropriate to Canadians, if for some only as a gesture towards ‘tradition.’ Yet revolutionary change was coming. That same year, Pierre Trudeau was responsible as Justice Minister for introducing the landmark Criminal Law Amendment Act, an omnibus bill whose provisions included, among other things, the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults, movement towards the legalization of abortion, contraception, and lotteries, and the loosening of divorce laws. It became law of the land in 1968-69. Another country came with it. Reflecting on Morgentaler’s elevation five years afterwards, at the time of his death, Valpy opined on the CBC’s website that it had signified that “the door was firmly shut on institutional religion’s engagement in the public life of the nation.” It was part of the trajectory of what progressives call being on the wrong side of history: Between Pierre Trudeau’s partial decriminalization of abortion in 1969 (in the same piece of legislation that completely de-criminalized homosexuality and contraception) and the Supreme Court’s ruling in 1988 declaring any criminalization of abortion to be unconstitutional, it became clear that absolutist teachings from the realm of the sacred would no longer be the determining factor in public morality and the nation’s public life.21 The fundamental issue though is the religious implication of the honour: “What could have been a more definitive rejection of the church’s teaching than the Governor General presenting Morgentaler with the state’s highest honour?” 22 Valpy means more than the bare symbolism of the act. Honouring Morgentaler represented far more than honouring the man who brought about the legalization of abortion in opposition to the church. At issue in the abortion debate was the still larger issue of who defines what life is. It had been God. Who was it now? For Valpy, the answer was clear. Morgentaler was the conduit for the appropriation of the church’s and the family’s historical mandate by the state. The state had now honoured a man who had conspicuously – even defiantly – honoured the state above God, indeed who had honoured it as a god. In ‘rejecting the church’s teaching’ on life, it celebrated the state’s teaching on life. It was therefore a moment of vast cultural and religious significance. According to the Whig narrative of history as an inevitable progression towards greater liberty and enlightenment, Valpy identifies Morgentaler’s elevation as a beacon of Canadian values to be the defining moment between two lords, two laws, and two worldviews in Canada. There is something undeniably correct in his summary. For him, Canada has effectively ceased to be a Christian country because in its most basic understanding of human life, i.e. in its definition of life, it is no longer defined by Christian law. He understands, as all progressivists (and too few Christians) do, that by exercising the prerogative of defining life (as also in redefining marriage) the state has usurped the Lordship of Christ, His sovereign authority over life as its Creator in every area, which is symbolized by His definition of all human life and legal protection over it. And if God’s predetermination of life and history has been rejected in Canada, as it once was in Israel before the exile, man’s predetermination of life and history invariably ensues. 23 It is not just a piece of legislation. It strikes at the very heart of all law. As in Europe, he exults, Christian culture has now been utterly privatized. Christian worship is still permissible, Christian culture (as expressed through the public outworking of the faith) is not. In my experience, Christians are in absolute denial about both the substance of the legalization of abortion and its widespread consequences, and even though they are uncomfortable with the status quo, are quite willing to leave the issue on the backburner. Yet allowing for the denial of God’s predestination of human life to become Canadian law is necessarily to replace it with human predestination, and more specifically the government’s total determination of all life in Canada. That is because what is at issue is the same as was involved in original sin. Original sin is not, as one so often hears, a matter of eating from fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and thus ‘becoming as gods.’ That is a Gnostic distortion of the text. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The detail of the text is crucial. ‘Becoming as gods,’ thus meant that Adam and Eve took upon themselves the power of moral determination. They not only exercised dominion over the created order, but acted as if they could exercise dominion over the King of Creation Himself. And the immediate moral consequences of their action was not only the sentence of death they received, but that the first of their progeny, Cain, exercises moral determination by killing the second, Abel. They had achieved the quasi-divine power of moral determination. Yet it characteristically expressed itself in the choice to take human life. As the ancient Roman proverb would have it: homo homini lupus. ‘Man is man’s wolf.’ Man might be as a god. But the devil calls the shots. This is the current state of affairs. The sense of purpose that the Christian faith has inculcated into the Western understanding of history does not permit the progressivist to assign history a direction without a director. What has replaced Jesus Christ is the lordship of man, his sovereign authority over life and death, expressed in the State, which as Hegel once wrote is the ‘voice of God on earth.’ Politics has returned to what it had been in the Western world before Christendom, a theological-political enterprise in which there is no separation of church and state precisely because the state once again exercises the prerogatives of the church, as it did before the advent of Christendom. This sounds surprising because every time the Christian faith is suppressed in the public square in our day, it is done in the name of the ‘separation of church and state.’ 24 THE ABORTION OF FATHERHOOD - HER CHOICE, HER PROBLEM One of the preeminent social legacies of Christendom was the eradication, through legal and political means, of the idea that women were the property of their husbands. The Bible insisted on the covenant obligations of man to wife, and both to child as the basis of the social good. The Enlightenment’s postulates of human autonomy and freedom (rather than personhood and the family) as the fundamental human categories seriously eroded that, and brought about a backlash in the twentieth century. The feminist movement largely encouraged women to understand themselves in similarly mistaken autonomous terms, understandably demanding equal rights in a variety of areas where men’s obligations had been previously understood. But the right to choose to abort a child – and the perceived need for it – validate the patriarchal worldview which holds that women, encumbered as they are by their reproductive capacity, are inferior to men because pregnancy requires them to depend on men. The sexual revolution simply made this a crisis. Having explored the connections of the sexual revolution with abortion and observed it as a social symptom of extreme theological peril, I conclude by observing its devastating effect on the entire family, but particularly on the women it allegedly liberates and heals. The irony of the situation could hardly be more acute. Throughout the Western world, abortion is held to be the most fundamental women’s right. Canada sees itself in the forefront of women’s rights precisely because it provides unlimited, fully-funded access to abortion. But nowhere is it more obvious that supporting abortion is different than standing for women’s rights than in the widespread practice of gendercide, the choice to abort the unborn simply because they are girls.25 The hypocrisy of those who have called themselves defenders of women’s rights has been well and truly exposed on this issue. They might sound the dog whistle of ‘oppression’ and ‘imposing patriarchy,’ and a Pavlovian pack of ‘activists’ might still bay and gnash their teeth.26 But they now stand shoulderto-shoulder with patriarchal societies. The point of principle is clearly about defending the ‘prochoice’ position against any limitation. Unfettered access to death as a ‘choice’ is sacrosanct. Yet even if we disregard the practice of gendercide, we still find that, forty years on, abortion on demand has failed to liberate the overwhelming majority of women or promote their good. Instead, it has promoted the terms of the sexual revolution – uncommitted, anonymous sex without consequences – to the detriment of women. Giving pregnant women the sole prerogative of ‘choice’ is the final insult. For it has exempted men from any responsibility. Covenant fidelity has been done away with. The sperm donor and the drunken sailor have the same status, the same effective rights and obligations, as a dutiful husband who loves his wife and would seek to be a good father to his children. In short, women’s power to ‘choose’ not only results in the slaughter of millions, it has made for the unprecedented cultural phenomenon of single mothers and fatherless children, a statistic that seems to rise by the year. Not only has it given men a free pass, it has increased the stigma on women for carrying or aborting the child, precisely because ‘her choice’ means it’s now all on her shoulders. Once women leave the silencing cordon of ‘confidentiality’ of Moloch’s functionaries in the clinic, they alone will have to hear either the baby’s cries on their own or their peers’ attacks on their ‘irresponsibility.’ It is not only men who will anathematize the pregnant woman. Pressure from families and friends, who know that they too will have to bear the consequences of the mother’s allegedly autonomous decision, is often unbearable. Society too will add to this by the cost it will have to bear. CONCLUSION As the insignia on the breasts of the Order of Canada’s members declares, there remains a better country for those who live by faith. Without faith, and covenant obedience to the One who is faithful and true, there can be no life. The fifth commandment declares that it is those who honour their father and mother that shall inherit the land. Jesus makes it plain that that land is the whole earth. That includes Canada. The promotion of abortion as the pre-eminent human good declares nothing other than the depth of depravity in the world today. Those who hate the Lord love death. It is the calling of the church to speak against this, to call the lost, and to affirm life as God’s gift. Above all, we should be mindful once more of the text in Jeremiah with which this essay began. The Lord had asked Jeremiah a rhetorical question in response to the weight of sin and depravity, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”(Jer. 32:27). The price that the faithless paid for their worship of death rather than of Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life was clear, and it is clear in our time. Yet the promise of God to the faithful remains in the midst of that: …they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 32: 38-41). It is the meek, those obedient to the Lord of life, that shall inherit the earth. And those who hate life are seeing to it quickly.